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I was always a goody-goody. Never skipped school until college. I didn’t even participate in Senior Skip Day in high school, which was all but posted on the school calendar.

However, if I were to play hooky, I’d want it to be a once-in-a-lifetime, memorable occasion. The following ten characters could surely make it a time I would never forget, or regret!

Bastian from The Neverending Story

1. Bastian from The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

Now, this guy knows how to skip school! Steal an awesome book from a bookstore, hide out in an attic (or storage room) full of blankets and candles, and literally get sucked into a good book. Plus, he brought supplies- an apple and PbJ, which he’s really good at rationing. I would love to skip a day of school so I could read with Bastian.

Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye

2. Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

I’ve always wanted to see New York! I could skip school and explore with Holden at my side…maybe I could even get him to lighten up!

Jake from The Dark Tower

3. Jake from The Waste Lands by Stephen King

I’m still reading The Waste Lands, and Jake just finished the weirdest day of skipping school–opening random doors in hopes of finding a desert, trespassing in vacant lots where he sees and hears trippy things, until he finally passes out in said vacant lot. I know it sounds like Jake might not be the best for a fun day, but he did hang out in a very cool bookstore. Plus, eventually his truancy is going to pay off when he finally finds the door he’s looking for! It would be awesome if I could skip school that day too!

Huckleberry Finn

4. Huckleberry Finn from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Just look at this guy! Skipping school so we can do some hunting and fishing, floating down the Mississippi, avoiding danger. I think Huck would be a blast to skip school with!

Alice in Wonderland

5. Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Falling down the rabbit hole and exploring Wonderland or another typical day at school? I vote hanging with Alice!

6. Bod from The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

This kid desperately needs a pal! Particularly a pal who can keep him away from the goblins who’d love to steal him away and the psycho who murdered his whole family. He is pretty fun though, with a good imagination and he plays with ghosts in a graveyard. I could skip a day of school to hang out with him.

Anne of Green Gables

7. Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Now, I know that Anne would never skip school! She’s almost as big of a goody-two-shoes as I am when it comes to school. But, if she did, we would have some fun! We could hang out at the Lake of Shining Waters, imagine ghosts and goblins in the woods, and gossip a bit about Josie Pye!

Harry, Ron, Hermione, Harry Potter series illustration

8. Harry, Hermione, and Ron from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Skipping school with this crew could mean butter beers, hiding under Harry’s invisibility cloak, and standing up to rotten Slytherins. Or getting some sleuthing work done. Either way, it would certainly be a worthy excuse for skipping school!

Ponyboy Curtis and Johnny Cade The Outsiders

9. Ponyboy and Johnny from The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Awww, these cutie pies could use a reassuring voice when they hide out in the abandoned church. I could’ve helped them cut and color their hair so that it didn’t turn out so bad, help them read Gone with the Wind, and fixed them some real food other than bologna sandwiches. Or I could just spend the day giving them hugs and kisses, which is what they so desperately needed!

10. Pippi Longstocking from Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Man, this girl is crazy! Check out the spotted horse on her doorstep! If you skip school, head over to Pippi’s house…she can make anything fun and wild!

This is in response to the Top Ten Tuesday prompt from The Broke and the Bookish.

 

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Tonight’s the night! Season 5 of Mad Men premieres on AMC at 9:00! Two hours!

While I haven’t had to wait as long as other fans (I only just started watching seasons 1-4 in November), I am still very excited to see what’s happening to my favorite characters!

So, today I will be gearing up for the premiere by watching some of my favorite episodes from the past seasons (all previous seasons are streaming on Netflix). These favorite episodes include:

-Warning: Don’t Click on These if You Haven’t Watched the Show–Synopses Contain Spoilers!-

“A Night to Remember” Season 2: Episode 8

“Six-Month Leave” Season 2: Episode 9

“Meditations in an Emergency” Season 2: Episode 13

“Out of Town”: Season 3: Episode 1

“My Old Kentucky Home”: Season 3: Episode 3

“The Grown-Ups”: Season 3: Episode 12

“Shut the Door. Have a Seat.” Season 3: Episode 13

And most, if not all, of Season 4 (definitely my all-time favorite episode “The Suitcase” and the finale).

Other Mad Men Links That Have Me All Worked Up!

While watching the last two episodes of The Walking Dead (also on AMC), I loved these Mad Men trailers that link up my two favorite shows! Check ’em out!

and my personal favorite

“and drinks like Hershel used to…” my favorite line!

Book Riot has posted a couple of bookish posts on Mad Men. First, there’s “Recommended Books for the Characters of MAD MEN”. Then, there’s also “Nonfiction for the Life and Times of MAD MEN“.

There’s a lot of reading being done on Mad Men. Flavorwire has compiled “The Definitive ‘Mad Men’ Reading List” for any fans who want to read along. Also, they’ve pulled together a 1966 playlist to act as soundtrack for this season. Check it out!

Then, for those of us planning to really celebrate the return of Mad Men, there’s tips and recipes for throwing a Mad Men premiere party. I think I might try out Joanie’s famous Ginger Snap and Roger Sterling’s Party Nuts!

Can you tell how excited I am? So excited! Just wait until you see how excited I am for the premiere of Game of ThronesI’m gonna be nuts!


Wow, this week went by slowly!

It’s finally the weekend, and it couldn’t have come any slower. This was one of those weeks where it went by so slowly that I almost feel that it should be next week by now.

But, the week is over now, and I have a lot of bookish things on my radar that I wanted to share.

Currently, I am still reading The Waste Lands by Stephen King. While it’s hard to put down when I’m reading it, in the last couple of days, I haven’t been able to squeeze in time to read! So, I’m hoping that I can get some reading done this weekend, although it’s unlikely that it will happen because I’m gearing up for…

Mad Men! The two-hour season premiere airs tomorrow and I can’t wait! I will be writing about all things Mad Men tomorrow, and will probably re-watch most of season 4 on Netflix all day before the premiere. I am in love with this show–I consider it to be the most consistent, well-developed series on television to date. I can’t wait to see what’s going on with my favorite characters in this new season! How many of you are as excited as I am?!

Also, I mentioned it earlier this week, but now it’s official–Dewey’s Readathon is back! Sign-ups are here! I have officially signed up to read for 24 hours on April 21st, and I hope you will too. I know my buddy Kyle at A Reader’s Pensieve is doing it, but I’m urging the rest of you to set aside the day to do it as well! And, YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO FOR THE FULL 24 HOURS! (I’m looking at you SJ) Just sign up and read for however long you can go! It’s about all of us setting aside a bit of time to read as a community. We can update our reading progress on our blogs or over on Twitter and root each other on. I enjoyed reading alongside Jillian, of A Room of One’s Own, during the last readathon–we checked in with other through the wee hours, and at the witching hour of 3:00 a.m., when you’re reading a super-creepy book like The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, it’s really nice to know someone else is out there still reading as well.  It’s just a very cozy feeling, knowing that you’re reading alongside (virtually) with the rest of your community. Just consider it, please?!

Another bookish event on my radar is Suvudu’s Cage Match 2012 event. Basically, characters from some of the best science fiction and fantasy titles are pitted against each other in a fight to the finish. Participants for this event have included Tyrion Lannister, Zaphod Beeblebrox, The Wicked Witch, Lady Jessica, Bast, and Mr. Wednesday (to name only a few). Check out the round 3 bracket here. The event is almost over (I found out about it on Wednesday, but it’s been going on all month!), but I’m enjoying reading the recaps of the past matches. So far, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Anomander Rake, Moiraine Damodred, Kelsier, Mr. Wednesday, Granny Weatherwax, Kylar Stern, and Erevis Cale are still in it. I’m only familiar with Zaphod and Wednesday, but the cool thing about this event is that it provides me with exposure to characters whom I might want to read about in their respective sci-fi and fantasy titles. Plus, it’s just a lot of fun for fans. I recommend you all check it out!

Finally, I signed up a few weeks ago, but the event has officially started, so I’ll announce now that I am going to take part in The Sarah Addison Allen Challenge hosted by Quirky Girls Read. For those of you who don’t know who Allen is, she writes lovely magical realism novels that always take place in North Carolina and always have something to do with delicious food. When I was in a reading rut last year, I picked up a copy of Allen’s Garden Spells simply for the lovely book cover, and I was surprised to find that I loved it. Her imagery and tone is like drinking an ice-cold Arnold Palmer on a hot summer day. So, for this challenge, I will read all four of Allen’s books in April, and, on the weekend, I will cook or bake something inspired by the story I read. For example, for The Girl Who Chased the Moon, I will bake Hummingbird Cake, as that’s one of the main character’s specialties. I believe that Allen even provides a recipe on her website. It’s gonna be delicious!

This will be my last week of teaching before a month-long Spring Break. So, if I’m not consistent in posting this week, just know that I’ll be a constant presence in April! I can’t wait!


The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle #2) by Patrick Rothfuss

• Hardcover: 994 pages

• Publisher: Daw, 2011

• ISBN: 0756404738

• Genre: Fantasy

• Recommended For: Fans of the first book in the Kingkiller Chronicle series, The Name of the Wind; fans of fantasy.

Quick Review: Earns an 90 %, or 4.5 stars out of 5. Check out my rubric for my detailed assessment.The Wise Man’s Fear Rubric

I definitely recommend this, my favorite of the two books in the Kingkiller Chronicle series. Well-paced, full of mystery, and lots of themes to ponder.

How I Got Here: I read The Name of the Wind in 2011 and liked it, and Jessica, from Shhh…Mommy’s Blogging, highly recommended it, so I put it at the top of my TBR list for 2012.

The Book: Goodreads’ Synopsis

Day Two: The Wise Man’s Fear.

“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”

An escalating rivalry with a powerful member of the nobility forces Kvothe to leave the University and seek his fortune abroad. Adrift, penniless, and alone, he travels to Vintas, where he quickly becomes entangled in the politics of courtly society. While attempting to curry favor with a powerful noble, Kvothe discovers an assassination attempt, comes into conflict with a rival arcanist, and leads a group of mercenaries into the wild, in an attempt to solve the mystery of who (or what) is waylaying travelers on the King’s road.

All the while, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived. Under her tutelage, Kvothe learns much about true magic and the ways of women.

In The Wise Man’s Fear Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.

My Analysis and Critique:

There are a lot of lovers of this book. There’s also a lot of haters. I happen to be a lover. In fact, I liked this book a whole lot more than the first book in the series, The Name of the Wind, whereas most reviewers definitely saw this book as much weaker.

When reading the negative reviews on Goodreads, I couldn’t help but notice that many critiqued The Wise Man’s Fear for faults that I actually found in The Name of the Wind (they also hated the book because they were mad at Rothfuss, which is a very poor approach to a review, but I’ll discuss that elsewhere). Since reading The Wise Man’s Fear, I no longer find these faults in Rothfuss’ writing, as I believe there might be a purpose behind the seemingly trivial and dull points of the book. Actually, I am considering that there might be an even bigger purpose that has me leaning towards my conspiracy theorist side. But, that comes later in the review (warning: this will be a long one!). Since a lot of people have similar issues with Kvothe and The Wise Man’s Fear, in this review, I will share my initial reaction to the novel, and then my response to some of the criticism I found on Goodreads after finishing the novel.

My Initial Thoughts

This was an expansive novel, as Kvothe gets a lot done–both at the University and in his travels. He develops a lot as a character, learns a lot of new things (a few new languages, how to fight, how to make love like a fairy, how to call down lightning on bad guys, to name a few), and in search of answers to his many questions, he only finds more questions (close, but not quite as frustrating as a season of Lost). I loved the pacing of the plot, the new cultures and myths that were introduced, and the growing sense of mystery pervading throughout the tale. I had a lot of favorite quotes as well. Here are a few that stood out:

Kvothe on teaching: “It’s the questions we can’t answer that teach us the most. They teach us to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he’ll look for his own answers,” (556).

Vashet on why women are better fighters: Kvothe argues that men are bigger and stronger, which Vashet counters with: “that would matter if fighting were the same as splitting wood or hauling hay. That is like saying a sword is better the longer and heavier it is. Foolishness. Perhaps for thugs this is true.[…] the key is knowing when to fight. Men are full of anger, so they have trouble with this. Women less so,” (763).

Vashet on sparring before you’re ready: “That is like throwing two virgins into a bed. Enthusiasm, passion, and ignorance are not a good combination. Someone is likely to get hurt,” (767).

My only gripe with this book was the extended scenes of Kvothe in the land of Fae. He has a lot of fairy sex, and it felt eerily similar to Odysseus’ stay with Calypso in The Odyssey. However, I wish Rothfuss would have taken a lesson from Homer and skimmed over it–Odysseus was with Calypso for seven years, and yet Homer barely shows it. Unfortunately, Kvothe, and the reader, experience the fairy Felurian for months, which covers 80+ pages. Yet, this is a small gripe, because during these pages, we get a new plot twist with Kvothe’s encounter with the malicious oracle Cthaeh, and Kvothe got some new stories and a cool cloak out of it as well. Not too big a deal.

What They’re Saying at Goodreads

-“It’s offensive to women”: I completely disagree with this viewpoint. This was one of the most feminist books I’ve read since Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale last August. I mean really? Rothfuss has created what is supposed to be a superior society in the Adem, similar in their civilized ways to Swift’s Houyhnhnms in Gulliver’s Travels. The Adem society accepts that women make better fighters than men because they are more cool-headed (I might disagree with that occasionally, being a woman, and not always cool-headed) and considers men to be mainly useful for their Anger (penis).

Then, there’s the scene where Kvothe breaks the arm of a boy who calls two girls “whores” after they’ve been rescued from rapist bandits.

“I want you to look at these girls. And I want you to think about the hell they’ve been through in these past days, tied hand and foot in the back of the wagon. And I want you to ask yourself what’s worse. A broken arm, or getting kidnapped by a stranger and raped four times a night?”

The point which is considered to be offensive by some is when Kvothe compares sex with women to playing music. I just don’t see the offense. Apparently, Kvothe can, as he remarks

Some might take offense at this way of seeing things, not understanding how a trouper views his music. They might think I degrade women. They might consider me callous, or boorish, or crude.

But those people do not understand love, or music, or me.

I guess that means I do understand love, music, and Kvothe, because I could completely relate to his analogy.

– There’s a lot of slow, unnecessary parts: I really felt this way more often with The Name of the Wind, but not so much anymore. Each segment in the plot is clearly building Kvothe’s character as well as providing a framework for the overall story. I felt there was a purpose in all scenes (although, again, I could’ve done with less Felurian).

– “Look how awesome Kvothe is!” and Unbelievably, after each plot point, Kvothe is off on another adventure: Many reviewers gripe about a lack of plausibility in Kvothe’s character and numbers of adventures. Kvothe seems to be a genius at everything he attempts. He also seems to be involved in every crazy, over-the-top adventure possible, and these adventures are back-to-back-to-back (kind of goes against the above critique of slow, unnecessary parts, doesn’t it?).

I definitely see where these critics are coming from, but this is when I urge readers to remember that The Kingkiller Chronicle is a story about some dude telling a story–a dude named Kote, an innkeeper, who claims to be the legendary Kvothe. The majority of the two novels in the series are covering the story of Kvothe, and we only get little tidbits on the man telling the story. Who is this Kote, and is he reliable? Is he truly Kvothe? He’s certainly mysterious, and there are definitely little things about him that might cause the reader to question him.

Even if Kote truly is Kvothe, he’s still a master storyteller, and we’re hearing his story. He will make his hero out to be amazing, a genius, as it suits him. And, he’s telling the stories of Kvothe’s adventures, not the daily minutia of Kvothe’s day-to-day life. Thus, it will be action-packed because it is a story. A story within a story. We already know Kvothe likes to embellish his stories, so who’s to say he’s not embellishing his own “true” life story.

A final thought on this, coming from my conspiracy theorist side. Maybe, I’m too much of an X-Files fan, maybe I follow too closely the “Trust No One” creed, but sometimes I felt like Rothfuss was pulling a long con on me. I’m really not a hundred percent sure that I can believe everything the innkeeper Kote is telling the Chronicler. There is so much mystery–Bast, the innkeeper’s fae sidekick; random occurrences around the Inn; Kote/Kvothe’s lack of genius and ability in the present time. I feel like there is a lot more going on than meets the eye. I think I want to re-read all of the present-day scenes at the inn and see if I can pinpoint just what is making me second-guess.

Overall, I recommend this series highly. I will re-read it, I’ve bought copies for friends, and I think you should check it out too!

Links:

Man, this review is LITTERED with links! Click on a few, as they’re in context.


Free air conditioning--all year long!

It’s another cold, wet, blustery day here in San Diego! One of the perks of being in San Diego is that there really isn’t any reason to have a high energy bill. The weather typically is moderate, so no need for AC in the summer and no need for heat in the winter. However, on days and nights like this, with a house full of wide door jambs and such, it’s not too different from camping. You can feel the wind blowing in right through the cracks of the walls! That makes for a chilly house (but great on a hot, windy summer day)! So, I’m all bundled up in the house in my robe, scarf, long johns, wool socks and sweater. We San Diegans can be wusses about temperature changes, I know! But, it would be ridiculous to try to heat up this old, drafty house with no insulation whatsoever. So, we bundle up!

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

So, the fanfare may commence…I finished The Wise Man’s Fear relatively early (9:00 p.m.) last night! It was so good! If you missed them, I wrote readathon posts on Friday and Saturday, each with reading updates and reflection (and silly videos). Today, I will write my review (to post tomorrow) and begin reading The Waste Lands in continuance of The Dark Tower Reading Challenge (and The Stephen King project). I also need to read a classic for March still, and while I was planning on reading The Forsyte Saga for this month, it’s a hefty book and March is almost over! So, I’m going to push that off until I have a lot of free reading time (Spring Break in April or summer vacation in August). Instead, I think my classic will be A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. My sister has urged me to read it, and the little bits I’ve skimmed while flipping through have shown it to be a very interesting book. So, I’m excited to start that up this week! I hope it counts for some of my challenges…

What else has been going on? Well, I’ve been having an internal debate on whether or not I should accept books for review. I’ve been getting approaches by authors about reading and reviewing their books, and I am skeptical to say the least. I don’t like being given something to read. It’s like someone throwing themself at you. I’m all about the chase. I want to find the perfect book for right now, and read it on my own time. Plus, I’m a horrible snob when it comes to what I read. It sounds pretentious, but I don’t read bad books. I just don’t. Or, if I do, I’m doing it on purpose. I can be in the mood for fluffy crap, but, even then, I seek it out. I seek my crap carefully. Plus, there’s the whole problem with my dislike of contemporary fiction. It’s a struggle for me to even read the Pulitzer winners for the Insatiable Booksluts’ Award-Winning Challenge, and those are award-winners!

So, after careful consideration, and the seeking out of advice from two book bloggers I greatly admire, and finally, after reading this article from the Los Angeles Review of Books, I have decided that I am not accepting books for review at this time. I will place this in my Contact page to avoid further consideration. I’ve just got too many good books of my own choosing to read, and I read enough sucky writing from my students–I don’t need to read potentially sucky books in my free time! So, if you’re looking for reviews of the newest upcoming novels, Adventures in Borkdom isn’t the place! Sorry!

Some really good news…Dewey’s Readathon is returning in April! I participated in my first Dewey back in October, and I had a blast! I read for the full 24 hours, ripped through 4.5 books, and participated in the challenges! If you’re looking for a good time, I urge you to sign up when the official linky becomes available (I’ll let you know when it does)! It could be a like a big fun sleepover, where we are all reading together and blogging and tweeting and rooting each other on! It could be so fun!!! It’ll take place April 21st, the third Saturday in April. Please, friends, set aside the date and sign up! IT COULD BE SO MUCH FUN!!!

Finally, I’ll be tuning in to tonight’s season finale of The Walking Dead! I was very happy when Shane died in the last episode (though, I wish it had been Carl who shot him. He could’ve done that when he was creeping around and saw Shane pointing a gun at his Dad. That would’ve been a huge turning point for Carl’s character! Of course, I’m assuming Carl was there to see the scene between Shane and Rick.), and I’m hoping to see some of Hershel’s red-shirt kids bite the big one tonight. And, if they’re not going to give T-Dog any sort of purpose, he could die too. If we played a drinking game where we drank everytime T-Dog appeared in an episode, we would be negative-drunk. He needs a purpose if he’s going to take up a valuable space on our survivor squad–there are too many stronger characters who could take his place! I’m crossing my fingers that one of those awesome characters will appear in tonight’s finale and set up an awesome new season in the Fall!

A rare sighting of T-Dog...

So, that’s what I’m up to. How ’bout you?


If you get a book cover tattooed on your body, you must really love the book. Or, at least, have some sort of connection to the book. Perhaps the art is just that awesome.

Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut

After reading Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut, my husband loved the book and the book cover so much that he got it tattooed on his arm. It looks like this:

While I have absolutely zero plans to get a tattoo, if I were, I wouldn’t doubt that it would be bookish. Here are some book covers that I would consider tattooing on my body. Each has some sort of reasoning behind it.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

1. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

This would be such a “tuff” tattoo. I would feel super punk rock with a Clockwork Orange tatt.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Marukami

2. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Marukami

I haven’t read this book, but I love the cover. It would make a lovely “girly” tattoo.

Maybe on my lower back instead of a fairy or dolphin.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I love this cover, but hate the book. Have read it twice. This tattoo could be a reminder to not

ever try it again!

4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

I have a good friend with an Alice tattoo. I love it. I have always loved this book,

 and if I weren’t such a chicken, this would probably be my first choice for a tattoo.

the wonderful wizard of oz by l. frank baum

5. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

I have always been attracted to the art of this classic. I think it would make a wonderful tattoo!

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

6. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

This would be such an awesome tattoo. It represents so much to me,

 as a fan of the book, a fan of the genre, and a fan of the themes. I could see this on my arm!

Matilda

7. Matilda by Roald Dahl

Perfecto! I love the illustrations by Quentin Blake in this book, and Matilda is so wonderfully

 bookish that I feel that this would be a very good, meaningful tattoo.

8. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

I loved the book, and as a tattoo, Huckleberry Finn could also represent

 my young life spent traveling across the states. He was a traveler, I was a traveler. Another great tattoo idea!

The Portable Dorothy Parker

9. The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker

I would be proud to represent Dorothy Parker on my arm. She is (was) a

 most awesome woman, and my tattoo could remind me of everything I wish to be as a woman.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

10. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson 

Such a wonderfully creepy book cover for one of my favorite horror classics.

This is a sister story, so this tattoo could also remind me of my close connection to my own sister.


I’m a big fan of early punk and new wave. I’m also a huge fan of classic literature. Here are ten punkish (my husband is forcing this disclaimer: I KNOW these don’t all fall in the “punk” category, but they are in the same vein) theme songs that remind me of some of my favorite literary works.

1. The Catcher in the Rye–“Walk on the Wild Side” by Lou ReedThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

This was an easy one. Holden’s adventures in New York City connect evenly with Lou Reed’s.

2. Hamlet–“Digital” by Joy Division

Oh Hamlet…so paranoid.

“I feel it closing in, I feel it closing in, day in, day out, day in, day out…”

3. Wuthering Heights–“Mother” by Danzig

Heathcliff. Mothers. Fathers. Lock your daughters up and away from the diabolical Heathcliff.

“Father. Gonna take your daughter out tonight. Gonna show her my world. Oh father.”

Heh, heh…Glen Danzig even kinda looks like Heathcliff.

4. Romeo and Juliet–“What Do I Get” by the Buzzcocks

If they hadn’t died tragically, I think Romeo would have tired of Juliet eventually. He just wanted a girlfriend–he was in love with love. I think Friar Lawrence told him that. But, before Juliet, he was unlucky in love. This is Romeo’s pre-Juliet theme song.

“I just want a lover like any other, what do I get? […] I only get sleepless nights, alone here in my half-empty bed,”

5. The Age of Innocence–“Pale Blue Eyes” by The Velvet UndergroundThe Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

The sad affair of Newland Archer and Countess Olenska:

It was good what we did yesterday.

And I’d do it once again.

The fact that you are married,

Only proves, you’re my best friend.

But it’s truly, truly a sin.

Linger on, your pale blue eyes.

 

6. The Portrait of a Lady–“Reptile” by The Church and “Gut Feeling” by Devo

Gilbert Osmond is truly an evil snake, and Isabel Archer doesn’t realize it until she is trapped into marriage with him! These two songs encapsulate what I think that must feel like.

Too dangerous to keep.

Too feeble to let go.

And you want to bite the hand.

Should have stopped this long ago.

I looked for sniffy linings

but you’re rotten to the core

I’ve had just about all I can take

you know I can’t take it no more

Got a gut feeling

7. Bleak House–“I Love Livin’ in the City” by Fear and “That’s Entertainment” by The Jam and “Boredom” by The BuzzcocksBleak House by Charles Dickens

The nastiness that is London is perfectly set to music in the gritty “I Love Livin’ in the City” and the bitter “That’s Entertainment”. Dickens would’ve approved.

Bodies wasted in the street,

People dyin’ on the street,

But the suburban scumbags, they don’t care,

Just get fat and dye their hair!

A smash of glass and the rumble of boots –

An electric train and a ripped up ‘phone booth –

Paint splattered walls and the cry of a tomcat –

Lights going out and a kick in the balls –

that’s entertainment

And for Lady Dedlock, “Boredom” by The Buzzcocks. Certainly her theme song!

8. Sense and Sensibility–“Ever Fallen in Love” by The BuzzcocksSense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Another Buzzcocks tune, this time for Marianne Dashwood and Willoughby. Theirs was an unfortunate love affair. The fast pace of this tune reminds me of their mad dash love affair.

 I can’t see much of a future

Unless we find out what’s to blame

What a shame

And we won’t be together much longer

Unless we realize that we are the same

Ever fallen in love with someone?

Ever fallen in love? […]

You shouldn’t’ve fallen in love with

9. Washington Square–“Shakespeare’s Sister” by The SmithsWashington Square by Henry James

I admit that I haven’t read this book yet, but I saw the movie, and this song, particularly a certain part, reminds me of the young heiress trying to get past her father so that she might run away with her fortune-hunter(?) suitor.

But I’m going to meet the one I love

So please don’t stand in my way

Because I’m going to meet the one I love

No, Mamma, let me go !

10. The Portable Dorothy Parker–“Love Like Anthrax” by Gang of FourThe Portable Dorothy Parker

I’m pretty sure that Dorothy Parker would have been into punk rock had she been alive. Surely, she would have approved of the lyrics in this song, which takes the same sardonic view of love:

“Love’ll get you like a case of anthrax

And that’s something I don’t want to catch.”